'Sherlock' Special Expected to Get Theatrical Release in China

Sherlock Teaser - H 2014

Sherlock Teaser - H 2014

BBC Worldwide said that pending regulatory approval, the cinema screenings will be “part of a global cinema event.”

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the U.K. public broadcaster, said Wednesday that the upcoming 90-minute special of hit drama Sherlock is "expected" to be released in cinemas in China.

It said the planned theatrical release was “part of a global cinema event to complement the U.K. television broadcast” of the special.

The news was deal of a broader deal between BBC Worldwide and China's Shanghai Media Group, which on Wednesday also unveiled a partnership to co-produce a feature documentary with the working title Earth: One Amazing Day. It would be the first feature to be made under a U.K.-China co-production treaty ratified earlier this year. ‎

The deals are set to be made official at a Wednesday signing ceremony in London that will take place as part of a creative showcase, a part of the official Chinese state visit to the U.K.

Among the guests attending the event will be Sue Vertue, board director of Hartswood Films and series producer of Sherlock. Pending regulatory approval, the new Sherlock special will be released in an undisclosed number of theaters in China. The release would need to be approved by the Chinese government under its quota system for foreign films.

“Since first launching in China in 2010, the series has developed a major following, with over 98 million views of the last season alone,” said BBC Worldwide.

The Sherlock special will see Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in a one-off episode set in Victorian London in 1895. The episode has been co-written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.